Gilday Outlines Top Priorities as New CNO

Navy Adm. Mike Gilday makes his first-ever remarks as the service's 32nd Chief of Naval Operations on Aug. 22, 2019, in Washington, D.C. US Navy video screenshot.

Navy Adm. Mike Gilday promised to prioritize readiness, modernization, and people as the service’s 32nd Chief of Naval Operations during his Aug. 22 swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“My focus in the coming years is to move forward with a sense of urgency, in sustaining our readiness and modernizing our force and taking care of our most important weapon system: our sailors and their families,” he said. “We will question our assumptions, we will think differently about the competition that we are now in, we will be the Navy the nation needs now, and we will build the Navy the nation needs to fight and win in the future.”

During the ceremony, Gilday also committed to continue building bonds with the nation’s allies and partners to improve maritime security. The Senate unanimously confirmed him as CNO on Aug. 1 following the abrupt retirement announcement of Adm. Bill Moran, who was in line for the Navy’s top uniformed job.

Gilday previously led US Cyber Command and US 10th Fleet, directed the Joint Staff, and served as naval aide to the President. He succeeds Adm. John Richardson, who is retiring after a nearly four-year stint as CNO and a 37-year career as a Navy officer.

During the ceremony, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said he “could not have asked for a better business partner” than Richardson.

“He’s done more for this Navy to put us in a ready, lethal position than many before,” Spencer said. “No effort was too great, no detail too small as he really did help us navigate the rocks and shoals to deliver the Navy the nation needs."

Defense Secretary Mark Esper threw his “full support” behind Gilday in an Aug. 22 tweet as well.